The Giants were tied with the Cardinals 3-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, and the atmosphere at AT&T Park was rocking. After Pablo Sandoval singled and Brandon Belt walked, Ishikawa stepped up to the plate and hit a home run over the right field wall, bringing down the house as the Giants clinched the National League Championship, sending them to the World Series.
"When it was hit to me, I was like, 'That ball is coming this way, that ball is coming this way,'" Burke said. "I thought it was going to hit the wall and we were going to go to the World Series. And that would have been enough."
Then a second later he realized what was really about to happen.
"That ball is not going to hit the wall. That ball is going to hit me," he said. He put his hands up and grabbed it amid a sea of screaming fans.
After the game, Burke and his friend indulged all the fans wanting selfies with the winning ball and then found a Giants representative to get the ball authenticated. After the representative checked it out, he told Burke that Ishikawa wanted the ball back.
Burke never had any intentions of keeping the ball or trying to capitalize off it.
"He hit that ball, he deserved it," Burke says.
But Ishikawa didn't let Burke leave empty-handed. He signed a bat for him and then the Giants offered him four tickets to the first World Series home game next Friday.
"Guys like Travis, guys like that, take us to the World Series," Burke said. "These guys -- they play together, they play hard, and they play to win. We aren't the high-dollar team like the Yankees, or the Dodgers, but we find ways to win."
Driving home, Burke's friend kept elbowing him, repeating, "Can you believe what we were just a part of?"
"I had to pinch myself till this morning," Burke said. "Really, what am I? I am the lucky guy who just happened to be sitting in the right place and had a chance to catch probably one of the most important baseballs in Giants' history."
Burke says he plans to take Leutza, his wife, and one of his four kids to the game next Friday.
"I bleed Black and Orange," he said. "Even number year, right? Giants got to do it again."